Methods for the statistical analysis of siring success and relatedness in plants and animals

14-15 February 2011



  • To understand the concepts involved in parentage analysis and the estimation of fitness using neutral genetic markers
  • To learn how to use some of the available programs to perform this.

content and pre-course assignment

Lectures on the methods :

  • Parentage analysis: direct estimation of the siring success of individuals (Marshall et al, 1998).
  • Estimation of relatedness.
  • Mixed-Mating models: indirect estimation of the influence of phenotypical or ecological variable on siring success (e.g; Oddou-Muratorio et al, 2005).

Practicals :

  • Application to various examples of software designed for paternity analysis (e.g. CERVUS), relatedness (e;g. Colony, Spagedi) and mixed-mating model (e.g. NM+).

Pre-course assignment

        Reading of the 2 publications:

  • Marshall T. C., Slate J., Kruuk L. E. et Pemberton J. M. (1998) Statistical confidence for likelihood-based paternity inference in natural populations. Molecular Ecology 7: 639-655.
  • Oddou-Muratorio S., Klein E. K. et Austerlitz F. (2005) Pollen flow in the wildservice tree, Sorbus torminalis (L.) Crantz. II. Pollen dispersal and heterogeneity in mating success inferred from parent-offspring analysis. Molecular Ecology 14: 4441-4452.

general information

Dates:  Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 February 2011

Schedule: 8.55 - 17.00

Location: University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building C, room C001 and room Millenium E026

Credit points: 1.0 credit point (Research tools) 

Evaluation: Full attendance, active participation during the 2 days including preparation (home work as described)

Information: Please contact the doctoral program coordinator Christiane Bobillier (administration) or Frederic Austerlitz

Travel expenses: participants of the doctoral program are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) with the reimbursement form  to Dr. Christiane Bobillier.  No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.


Minimum number of participants: 10, maximum: 20 (from which 4 with own computer).

This course is free, but the effective cost is approx. CHF 200.00 per person.

Registration through the web only: closed

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 50)